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Match preview: Brisbane v Sydney

Pick a Winner: BL v Syd Duck and Browny preview the Lions v Swans
Lance Franklin has feasted on the Lions in recent times - AFL,Brisbane Lions,Sydney Swans
Lance Franklin has feasted on the Lions in recent times

SUMMARY
The Lions broke one nine-year losing streak last week, and will be out to do so again when they host Sydney on Saturday. With Eric Hipwood kicking four goals, Hugh McCluggage playing his best game for the club and the two Daynes – Beams and Zorko – back to their best, Brisbane hammered Hawthorn by 56 points to defeat the Hawks for the first time since 2009 last Sunday. It's been equally as long since they've tasted success against the Swans and this time around won't be any easier, with John Longmire's men fresh from successive wins over Hawthorn and Fremantle. Lance Franklin is back – another tantalising reunion for Luke Hodge – Jake Lloyd is fresh off a career-best 41 disposals, and Isaac Heeney continues to thrive with his increased midfield minutes. Brisbane has been highly competitive in all but one match this season, and will have to be at its best to challenge the professional Swans.

WHERE AND WHEN: the Gabba, Saturday, May 26, 4.35pm AEST

TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide

LAST FIVE MEETINGS
R7, 2017: Sydney Swans 20.15 (135) d Brisbane Lions 12.9 (81) at the SCG
R6, 2016: Sydney Swans 15.7 (97) d Brisbane Lions 14.10 (94) at the Gabba
R15, 2015: Sydney Swans 10.10 (70) d Brisbane Lions 7.7 (49) at the Gabba
R7, 2014: Sydney Swans 18.15 (123) d Brisbane Lions 6.8 (44) at the Gabba
R6, 2013: Sydney Swans 17.13 (115) d Brisbane Lions 8.7 (55) at the SCG

THE SIX POINTS
1. It was Lance Franklin's day when the teams last played, finishing with 16 kicks, nine marks and eight goals. The Swans had the game won by half-time, leading by 44 points. Stefan Martin starred for the Lions with 21 disposals and 40 hit-outs.

2. Brisbane has the lowest number of contested possessions this year – although doing better head-to-head in that category – with 136.1 a game. They're ranked much higher in uncontested possessions (10th) with 225.2 a game.

3. Sydney has dominated Brisbane in recent seasons, winning the past 10 matches, a club record, including five by more than 50 points. The Swans have also won 10 of the 19 matches between the clubs played at the Gabba, which includes one draw.

4. The Swans are one of the strongest clearance teams in 2018, ranked fourth with an average of 39 a game. Brisbane is ranked 14th.

5. Franklin has enjoyed playing the Lions, kicking 56 goals in 14 games. He's kicked five or more on six occasions, with two bags of eight – including once for Hawthorn at the Gabba in 2008.

6. After his third straight big game, Dayne Zorko has now moved to fourth overall in the Schick AFL Player Ratings. The Lions midfielder now trails only Patrick Dangerfield, Dustin Martin and Lance Franklin.

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR …
Any time you play the Swans, slowing down Franklin is a big ask, and this week that task will go to Harris Andrews. The young Lions fullback was exceptional against Hawk Jarryd Roughead last Sunday, but with Franklin's speed and ability to move up the ground, this week is a whole new proposition.

PREDICTION: Sydney by 20 points

 
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs